Saturday, April 4, 2009

Death Letter Blues

Six years ago today, a young person I knew died. Her brother emailed me the news and asked me to come to Quebec to stay with his family during his sister's funeral. I like to think Son House wrote this song to romanticize my own personal experience, but despite the song's shocking resemblance to what happened in the days following Valérie's death, I know that pain is simply universal.



"Death Letter Blues"
I got a letter this morning. How do you reckon it read?
It said, "Hurry, the gal you love is dead"
I got a letter this morning. How do you reckon it read?
You know, it said, "Hurry, hurry, because the gal you love is dead"

I grabbed up my suitcase, took off down the road
When I got there she was laying on the cooling board
I grabbed up my suitcase, and I said and I took off down the road
I said, but when I got there she was laying on a cooling board

Well, I walked up right close, looked down in her face
Said, the good ol' gal got to lay here 'til Judgment Day
I walked up right close, and I said I looked down in her face
The good ol' gal got to lay here 'til Judgment Day

Looked like there was 10,000 people standing 'round the burying ground
I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down
Looked like 10,000 standing 'round the burying ground
You know I didn't know I loved her 'til they began to lay her down

Well, I folded up my arms and I slowly walked away
I said, "Farewell, honey. I'll see you Judgment Day"
Yes, I slowly walked away
I said, "Farewell, farewell. I'll see you Judgment Day"

You know I didn't feel so bad, 'til the good ol' sun went down
I didn't have a soul to throw my arms around
I didn't feel so bad, 'til the good ol' sun went down
You know, I didn't have nobody to throw my arms around

You know, it's so hard to love someone that don't love you
Ain't no satisfaction, don't care what in the world you do
Yeah, it's hard to love someone that don't love you
You know it don't look like satisfaction, don't care what in the world you do

Well, I got up this morning, the break of day
A-huggin' the pillow where she used to lay
I got up this morning, about the break of day
You know I was huggin' the pillow where my good gal used to lay

Got up this mornin', feeling round for my shoes
You know, I must-a had them old walkin' blues
Got up this morning, feeling round for my shoes
Yeah, I know by then, I must have had the walkin' blues

Oh Hush! Thought I heard her call my name
It wasn’t so loud so nice and plain.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Hurts my heart.

Related Posts with Thumbnails